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Welcome to the new home website for Richard Crookes


For over 30 years Richard Crookes has been working as a freelance artist and illustrator in the various branches of the publishing industry. Now living in Bangkok, he is primarily involved with oracle card and book cover design for international publishers. August 2015 sees the publication of his first fully authored project the Tai Chi Reflections cards for Findhorn Press.

For further information on the Tai Chi Reflections cards please click here. If you are a Tai Chi tutor and would like to be included in the directory, please click here.

Please see the Illustrated Card Decks page for more information on all other decks he has created or has been involved with here.

Book jacket design and illustration is a major part of his work and you can find samples of work and how to commission a cover here.

Calligraphic work including instructional content here.

For written work, please take a look at Richard’s companion site Still Glides the Stream

Still glides the stream - online notebook

Still glides the stream – online notebook

Thank you for your interest. If you would like to contact Richard to commission artwork, please fill out the contact form below. Thank you.

In Conversation with Susan Larison Danz

I was very kindly asked by Susan Larison Danz to contribute an hours conversation to her BlogTalkRadio channel – The Frontier Beyond Fear. We completed this this morning and it is now available to listen to by clicking here. Topics range from the Tai Chi Reflections cards, commissioning book covers, calligraphy and my life in Thailand,

Susan and I have worked together on a few projects over the last few years and it was very pleasant to finally get to speak to her and have such a long and interesting chat.

The Frontier Beyond Fear conversation

Reflections on Tai Chi Reflections

I was asked to write a short article to accompany the release of the Tai Chi Reflections cards and I thought I would repost that here. I believe that the cards have arrived with most distributors now and so if you have made a preorder then the cards should be with you very soon.

The mobile app, by the way, for all platforms is also almost completed (more of that later).

Tai Chi Reflections

Tai Chi is a martial art, and despite the beauty and grace of its movements and its apparent serenity, its genesis is a combat system. When I started to learn Tai Chi many years ago, it was the inner grace and serenity and the meditative qualities that attracted me and so it was a surprise to me to learn that some people consider it to be one of the most deadly of the martial arts. My tutor was indeed a very physical man and he always impressed upon me that the martial aspects were important; that every position, even if it was an inward or receptive ‘Yin’ movement, was still a position of strength. Most people who take up the study of the form will rarely, if ever, apply these skills in this way but nevertheless this is the power that you are developing and becoming sensitive to as you learn the art.

Most people will know of Yin and Yang energy – the feminine, receptive, inward principle of the Yin and the masculine, active and outward principle of the Yang; and these are, of course, not meant to be restricted in their use to men and women separately. We are each balancing these energies all the time in our everyday lives. This is how we get along. How we relate to each other. We are sometimes active, sometimes passive, sometimes forceful and sometime compromising. If we do not know how to balance these energies and embrace them all, then in certain situations we might find it hard to get along with people. We may find it hard to assert ourselves or conversely assert ourselves too much resulting in conflict.

A tutor I had in Bangkok a few years ago put his first priority in simply learning how to stand with strength and stability. As I see it – how to ‘stand up for yourself’ – to not be a ‘pushover’ and to ‘take a stand’ with who you are. This is very real and simple, down to earth self-empowerment from our normal language and it is this that interests me and I have tried to present in these cards.

With the deck I invite the user to choose a card at random and to concentrate on that posture, to adopt the posture for themselves and to feel how it affects (and effects) them. Let me take a couple of examples from the cards to illustrate what I mean about this… and let me add that of course these are only 48 snapshots from what is a continuous flowing movement and so there is so much more for you to discover for yourself if you do take up your own study. 

I’d like to look at the FOCUS card. Here we see the model posed in the form of an archer who has drawn the bow. The weight is evenly balanced between the two feet here, knees slightly bent – a very stable position. The gaze is directed intensely at the target, the bow is tightly drawn and the potential energy is at its maximum. Try it now… if you have in mind a particular goal and imagine that as your target, as soon as you stand firm and draw that imaginary bow, you will undoubtedly feel the power of your accuracy and intention to hit that target; and moreover the people around you will undoubtedly feel the strength of your intention too. The text on the reverse of this card reads ‘Draw the bow, become the target, release the arrow’. Positive thought and strength all wrapped up in one simple posture.

Focus from the Tai Chi Reflections cards by Richard Crookes

Perhaps a more contemplative card is the CYCLES card: – The tai chi form is full of circular motions as the outward and inward motions naturally move from Yin to Yang and back again. The idea of ‘holding the ball’ may be familiar to tai chi students as it is a good way to learn the movements and to visualize the cycle of change. Life is change, nothing remains same from moment to moment and each of those moments is in its rightful place. The text for this card reads ‘Cycles of life endlessly turning and returning us to the source’. Be stable at the centre of your own universe.

Cycles from the Tai Chi Reflections cards by Richard Crookes

My approach is perhaps not a conventional one, but if you learn tai chi, which is what I would love you to do, you will become strong, you will become stable and you will be self-empowered. These cards are meant to encourage you to become that, and to find your own individual way.

The Tai Chi Reflections cards are not a teaching – they are intended to be an enquiry into yourself.


Take a look at The Angels of Atlantis Oracle


Great news..  the award winning Angels of Atlantis oracle is now available for Android devices as well as ios. You can try it out freely.

Buy on google play

Buy on google play

The Tai Chi Reflections cards will also be available as a mobile app very soon.

The importance of art

I was very kindly asked a couple of weeks ago to contribute a guest posting to Anne Fallas’ blogspot on the importance of art:-

The Importance of Art?…. Hmm

A friend posted something on facebook about art this week:-

‘When times are hard, art is a luxury’…discuss….I found out later that this was in the context of art lessons being cut from the school curriculum due to financial constraints .

I replied that art is indeed a luxury and added that it is one available to us all. That ruffled a few feathers at first, I think, from one or two who considered it essential. Personally I don’t put it up there with being healthy, having clean water and a safe environment. I’ve had a life in art and I might add a very lucky one, but I don’t think anybody is going to die without art. Let’s not be precious about it – it all washes away in the sea of time.

All that might sound that I don’t care about art, but I obviously do or I wouldn’t have been doing it all my life. So what was my point?

Art is a luxury… it is a beautiful, probably uniquely human and fabulously therapeutic activity. It is a luxurious way of spending your time when you are not simply surviving. It is one of the greatest luxuries, and it is completely free.

Art does not belong to privileged people. There is no good and bad art. Art is yours. Art is love.

Please pop over to Anne’s site where you will find RadioRay’s article on the Importance of Music and further fascinating articles from guest contributors alongside Anne’s own writings

….Anne Fallas’ Blogspot

You might notice a familiar cover design:-

The Earth Changes for Anne Fallas

The Earth Changes for Anne Fallas



The Earth Changes ….A review by Maddy Harland Editor of Permaculture Magazine…
   “This is a very rare animal, an eco-novel written well. Set in France at time when the Earth’s climate is unravelling, it tells the story of a group of people who are struggling to make sense of their lives, build a small, self-sufficient community and prepare for a post-technological world. Rather than being gloomy, it treats the exploration of a new way of living with optimism and joy. Encoded in the tale are metaphors about human and planetary evolution that would be familiar to students of esoteric psychology.  The novel works. I read it cover to cover and enjoyed its style and structure and I didn’t find it obvious or preachy.  Worth seeking out.”  Maddy Harland, Editor, Permaculture Magazine

Mobile application

apps available on itunes, google play and Amazon

apps available on itunes, google play and Amazon

After another round of book cover designs which will be on show in due course, work is now complete on the beautiful Tai Chi Reflections cards application both for Apple and Android operating systems….

This is a beautiful application that enables you to pick random cards and share the images via social media as well as reading the accompanying texts. The full version is now available here on itunes and here on google play for android. It is also available on Amazon Apps here

Limited free versions are also available for you to try out.

If you do purchase one of these Richard would be very grateful for your review.

A second project is an altogether different affair, in fact a golf application. It is quite a departure from Richard’s normal output. Watch this space on this one.